Saturday, May 23, 2009

Strawberry and Chicken Salad

I just found this one and I am dying to try it. Let me know if you do! Since it is strawberry time right now, I just couldn't resist! I had my first strawberry salad just the other day (thanks Karla!) and I am hooked. I hope this one is as good as it sounds.

4 cups romaine lettuce
4 cups arugula (or other type of lettuce)
2 cups quartered strawberries
1/3 cup sliced red onion
1 large previously cooked chicken breast cut into chunks
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles or feta crumbles
cashews to garnish

2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp water
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl except of oil. Drizzle in oil slowly stirring constantly with a wisk. This dressing only makes a small amount so you might want to double it. As is, 4 servings with 4 tsp each drizzled over the salad.

Grilled Cumin Chicken and Chipotle Rice

2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp pepper
2 garlic cloves; minced
4 boneless, skinless chcken breast halves

Preheat grill to med-high heat. Combine first 4 ingredients to a large ziploc. Add chicken and mix together fully coating. Let stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile start rice and sauce.

1 cup rice
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup green onions
1/2 tsp minced chipotle chile (canned in adobo sauce)

Bring rice and broth to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Stir in onions and chipotle when finished cooking and serve.

Tomatillo Sauce to top chicken with:
1/2 lb tomatillos (small green tomatoes)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup cilantro leaves; chopped
1/4 cup green onions; chopped
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove garlic
1 jalapeno pepper; seeded and chopped

Remove stems from tomatillos and combine them with broth in a small pot. Cook med-high for 8-10 minutes. Drain and cool slightly. Put tomatillos and all of the rest of the ingredients in the blender and process until smooth.

Back to chicken! Did it only take you 15 minutes to do ALL of that? Really, it isn't that much. Starting rice and blending some stuff...ok, so the tomatillos had to boil....
Take the chicken out of the bag and place it onto the grill coated with cooking spray. Season the chicken once omre with about a 1/4 tsp of salt. Grill about 6 minutes on each side and serve topped with Tomatillo sauce and Chipotle rice on the side.

Tex Mex Beef Skillet

1 lb ground beef
1/2 large onion; diced
1/2 bell pepper; diced
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tbsp cream cheese
1/2 cup water
1 cup frozen corn
6 corn totillas cut/torn into 1 inch strips OR corn chips broken into large crumbs
1/2 cup shredded mexican blend cheese

Season beef with salt(1 tsp), pepper(1/2 tsp) and garlic(1 tsp) in a large skillet. Cook with onion and bell pepper until well browned. Poor off fat.
Stir in salsa, sour cream, cream cheese, water, corn and tortillas. Bring to a boil. Reduce to heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Top with cheese.

To make it a taco skillet add a package of taco seasoning to your beef while browning and you could also replace the corn tortillas for flour tortillas.

Cream Filled Cupcakes

1 cake mix of your choice (strawberry, fudge, devils food...)

Preheat oven as directed on box.
Prepare as directed into paper lined cupcakes filling 2/3 full, but do not bake.

Cream Filling:
1 8oz package cream cheese; softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
pinch of salt
1 cup chocolate chips (optional, but good!)

Mix all ingredients together stirring well. Take a small scoop and scoop about a 1 inch ball into the center of each cupckae filled with unbaked batter. No need to push the filling down or cover it, the cupcake will rise over the filling and keep the filling right smack in the center of the cupcake!
Bake as directed!

Optional filling:
Cream Cheese Frosting Filling
1 8oz package cream cheese
4 cups powdered sugar
splash of lemon juice
dash of salt
1 egg
1 cup of chocolate chips


2 ripe avacodos; pitted and diced saving one pit
1 roma tomato; diced
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup salsa
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. garlic salt
splash of lime juice
fresh cilantro; chopped (optional)

Mash up your avacados in a small bowl. Add all of the rest of the ingredients mixing them together. Place the reserved avacado pit into the middle of the guacamole to prevent brwoning. Cover and refridgerate until ready to serve. Remove the pit before serving so it'll look nice!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Orange Cream Pastries

2 cans Pillsbury biscuts (10 count each)
1 8 oz package of cream cheese; room temp
1 orange; 2 tbsp zest and juiced
3/4 cup cinnamon and sugar mix (3/4 cup sugar, 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon)
1/2 cup butter melted
2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325.
Take the block of cream cheese and cut it length wise down the center into 2 long strips. Then cut each strip into 10 small chunks. You should have 20 chunks of cream cheese. Flatten out each biscut. Place a piece of the cream cheese into the center and fold the biscut in half to form a half circle. Make sure the edges are pressed tightly together.
Combine orange zest into the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Dip pastries in butter then in the cinnamon/sugar/zest mixture and place on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake biscuts for 20 - 25 minutes watching carefully.

Meanwhile, combine powdered sugar, 1/2 - 1tbsp zest, and juice to desired thickness for a frosting/icing.
Spead or drizzle over pastries after they have cooled for 15 minutes.

Healthy but Yummy Whole Wheat Muffins

I love, love, love these! They are such a guilt free and healthy snack for anytime or even breakfast! My kids love them just as much as the sugar filled muffins and my husband does too. I love that there is Flax Seed in here, it is so hidden, but so good for you. I find it a crucial ingredient in this recipe. Flax seed adds a lot of moisture and a hint of a nutty flavor too. Thanks Yolanda for helping me out with this awesome recipe!

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup ground or milled flax seed
1 cup oats
3 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 - 1/2 cup honey
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 375.
Mix all ingredients except blueberries, mixing well. Gently stir in the blueberries. Lightly spray muffin pan or use paper cups. Bake for 15 - 18 minutes.

Kari's SMOKIN' Salsa

1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans Rotel (tomatoes with green chile)
1 small onion diced (or blended if you have picky eaters)
4 - 7 cloves of garlic; minced
1 cup fresh cilantro;chopped and loosely packed
1 - 3 jalapenos; seeded and chopped
1 fresh lime; juiced
8 Roma tomatoes; diced
1 1/2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika

Blend together the canned tomatoes for a nice and thick texture. Place into a large bowl and add all other ingredients as they are finished being prepared. For a different type of "heat" try HOT Rotel in place of regular or mild Rotel. Also for a milder salsa, replace the jalapenos with 2 cans of diced green chiles and switch to the mild Rotel. Remember with salsa that it takes at least an hour for the flavors to blend together properly, so make it ahead of time so it can rest inthe fridge and be ready when you are!

Avacado Salsa

1 16 oz package frozen corn kernels; thawed
2 2.25 cans sliced olives; drained
1 red bell pepper; chopped
1 very small onion; chopped
1 jalapeno pepper; seeded and choped
3 tbsp fresh cilantro; minced
5 cloves garlic; minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
3 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
4 - 5 avacados; peeled and cubed
3 medium tomatoes; finely diced

Mix all together and let sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Makes a large amount, but it won't last! Great to take to a get together or have at a party!

Fresh Mango Salsa

2 cups fresh mango; chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper; finely chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper; finely chopped
3 tbsp fresh cilantro; chopped
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup green onion; finely chopped
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all together in a non-aluminum bowl. Refigerate until ready to serve. Great with corn chips, pita chips, or even cinnamon and sugar chips.

My newly improved spinach artichoke dip

1 8 oz package of cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cupp grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated romano cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
2 cloves of garlic; minced
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 cup red bell pepper; chopped
1 14 oz can artichoke hearts; drained and chopped
1 package froxen spinach; thawed and juices squeezed out

Preheat oven to 375, and lightly spray an 8x8 baking dish.
In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients but the artichoke and spinach. Lightly toss in artichoke and spinach and then add to the baking dish uncovered for 25 - 30 minutes or until bubbly and brown. Serve warm with chips, crackers, torn bread pieces, individual mini bread bowls or one large one, baguettes.....your choice.
A twist on the recipie: if you know how to make a good alfredo sauce and a cup or so of your sauce for a nice creamy touch.

Jay's Signature Pizza Crust

Courtesy of, this crust is so easy and so, so good!! You can roll it thin for a crunchier texture or you can smear some oil in the bottom of your deep dish pan and make it just like Pizza Hut's deep dish crust. I have even made it normal as a regular pan pizza and it was fabulous also! For you health nuts, I have also tried 1/2 whole wheat flour and that turned out great. My next pizza will be full whole wheat so I'll let you know how that goes!

2 1/4 tsp. yeast
1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (11o degrees)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 1/3 cups flour

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in the water and let sit for 10 minutes.
Stir the salt and oil into the yeast solution. Mix in 2 1/2 cups of the flour.
Turn dough onto a clean, well floured surface, and knead more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough into a well oiled bowl and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise until double, this should take about an hour. Punch down the dough and form a tight ball. Allow the dought o relax for a minute before rolling out.

Preheat oven to 425. If you are baking the pizza on a stone you can place your toppings on the dough immediately. If you are baking your pizza in a pan, lightly oil the pan and let the dough rise for 15 - 20 minutes before topping and baking.
Do not put pizza in the oven until it is fully preheated. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until crust and cheeses are browned.

Creamy Caramel Dip

1 8oz package cream cheese; softened
1 jar caramel ice cream topping

mix together well and enjoy as a dip or as an addition to your caramel apple pie or even a topping for your brownies!

Aztec Chicken and Beans for the side

This one is really eay and very yummy too!

4 boneless chicken breast
1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp taco seasoning
1 tsp cinnamon

Combine marinade together in a plastic bag and mush it all up to mix it well. Then add chicken. Marinade for a minimum of 1 hour. Grill chicken or pan fry over med-high heat 15-20 minutes turning once. Poor some remaining marinade over top of chicken halfway through to help it stay nice and juicy.


Mexican Beans
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup red bell pepper diced
1/4 cup yellow bell pepper diced
1/4 cup orange bell pepper diced
1/4 cup onion diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp cajun seasoning
2 can Bush's Baked Beans

In a skillet, saute the peppers, onion, and garlic in the olive oil. Add to beans in a pot and stir also adding the cajun seasoning.

Cheddar Bay Biscuts

4 c. Bisquick baking mix
1 egg
1 c. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. cheddar cheese

1/2 c. butter, melted
garlic to taste/1 tsp?

Pre-heat oven to 450. Mix first 4 ingredients well. Add cheese and mix well. Dust dough with flour to form dough into a good texture. Slightly sticky, but still a good dough texture. Scoop a large ball of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet and then smoosh down the dough to make the ball about 1 inch thick.
Bake for 8 - 10 minutes depending on the size of the biscut.
Meanwhile, stir together butter and garlic to brush over hot biscuts. Let biscuts cool 1 minute before brushing.

I made these up in a desperate rush for some sort of "bread" item to add as a side to our meal. They turned out great, but I would love any suggestions. I have to admit also, I can't remember if I added any garlic butter to the dough or just saved it all for on top?!?! Oops! Good luck.

Queso Cheese Dip or Sauce

In a medium pot combine,

1 8oz package cream cheese
1 10oz can mild Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chiles)
1 4oz can diced green chiles
2 TBSP diced green onions
1 lb. colby/jack cheese; shredded
1/2 cup 1/2 and 1/2 or cream
1 tsp (or more) garlic
fresh cilantro to garnish, but I recomend adding it.

I have a small crock pot that I put my dip in to keep it evenly warm. I am sure you could leave it in the pot on warm, you'll just need to stir it periodically so it doesn't get all crusty around the edges.

Serve over tacos, nachos, chili or enchiladas or just use it as a dip with some great corn chips or bread.

Melissa Castro's AMAZING Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had these for the first time about 4 moths ago, and I can not get rid of my craving for these! I got the recipie from Melissa a couple months ago and I have made them 3 times. Superb! I just want them everyday all day! This is another cookie that anti-chocolate Clayton not only will eat, but will be mad if I eat them all!!! Here goes, are you ready?

1 cup cold, unsalted butter: cut itno chucks
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt (optional)
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, regular size (not mini)
2 cups chopped nuts of you choice (or I added a cup of oats)

Preheat 400. Beat butter, sugar and salt together with an electric mixer, Either a hand mixer or in a Kitchen Aid type thing. Then add the eggs and vanilla and beat them well with the sugar/butter mixture. Mix flour, baking soda, (and oats) together and then add to creamy mixture. Add chocolate chips and nuts.

Drop 1 1/2 inch balls of dough onto cookie sheet or stone and bake 8 - 10 minutes. My oven needed a bit more time, but I will post it as the original recipie just incase!